Trenches covered to ease congestion

A crackdown on London roadworks will see Thames Water trenches covered by metal plates when not being worked on so that motorists can drive over them.

The move follows mayor Boris Johnson`s announcement that a code of conduct has been agreed by utility companies in a bid to cut congestion in the capital.

Whole stretches of road that would normally be coned off will be open to traffic, and information boards will provide schedules and progress reports.

Says Mr Johnson: "The utility companies have agreed that the simply incredible situation of their being allowed to dig up any road in the capital with little notice and even less co-ordination must now end.

"None of us can escape the frustration of sitting with engine idling or pedal poised at roadworks manned by an invisible army of workers. There may sometimes be a good reason for this and sometimes there is not.

"The aim of the code of conduct is better co-ordination and far less disruption for Londoners. From today if no information signs are available on-site, people will be able to log on and ask Transport for London to find out exactly what is going on."

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